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Old 05-14-02, 01:20 PM   #1
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help a fat guy

Hi all,

I am new here and I am a little embarassed to say this but I am a very large guy (6'1" 280 pounds) and I am interested in a mountain bike. I don't have much money ($300 american) I am probably going to buy a KHS Alite 500. Will this bike hold up? Should I look for anything in particular so I don't destroy it the first time I take it off road? I mostly want it to ride to work and on logging roads near my home in the evening. I love the mountains and figure this would be a good way to enjoy them and loose some weight. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 05-14-02, 01:23 PM   #2
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First of all welcome to the boards. Second most good bike frames can handle up to and beyond 300 pounds on them. But I do not konw if that includes doing a 8'drop or if it is just limited to regular riding, like on the logging roads you mentioned. Perhaps another mtn biker can help with that aspect of your question. Again welcome.
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Old 05-14-02, 01:50 PM   #3
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I to am a heavy rider, 6'2", 270#. I have been ridding mtbikes since 1988. From what it sounds like, most frames should withstand the type of ridding you are planning on doing. Any good steel frame or alloy will work for you. I would suggest trying to find a used bike to start with. If you find that you really enjoy mountainbiking then latter one down the road you could purchase a better bike.
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Old 05-14-02, 02:03 PM   #4
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A good mountain bike will probably stand up better for your usage than a good road bike would. Avoid the minimal-spoke fad by using 32- or 36-spoke wheels, and you should be fine.
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Old 05-14-02, 02:18 PM   #5
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The most likely trouble spots will be the wheels and the fork. If you're working with a decent bike shop, you might ask them about replacing that bottom-of-the-line suspension fork with a rigid cro-moly (steel) fork, which will be much less likely to break.

With machine-built wheels like these, difference between wheels holding up and wheels breaking is usually whether they were prepped by hand when the bike was assembled. It's not something every bike shop does, especially on entry-level bikes, but in your situation I'd insist on it.

Preparing the wheels means 1) manually stress-relieving them, 2) bringing the spokes up to proper tension with a tensionometer, and 3) truing the wheels. (Stress relieving is usually done by grasping two non-adjacent spokes and squeezing them towards each other, continuing around the wheel, which distributes mechanical stress through the spoke and does much to prevent spoke breakage. It's routine on hand-built wheels, rare on machine built ones.)

Bikes like these are not going to hold up to severe abuse, even with a small rider. They'll last a long time riding on pavement, gravel, packed dirt, and such, but they're not up to the rigors of downhilling or cross-country on rough terrain. If you want a bike that can handle a large rider under that kind of stress you'll need to spend more money.

Have a great time with your new bike!

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Old 05-15-02, 10:00 AM   #6
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I'm pretty big too, at least I was until I started cycling seriously again. I was up to 260 lbs, now I'm down to 218 as of this morning! The bike you've mentioned should have no problems with your weight, but you will wear out parts sooner than lets say a 170 lb rider. Especially the wheels. I trashed my stock wheels pretty soon after I bought my bike. It was really my fault, I tried doing something I used to do all the time when I was 190 lb kid. I ended up replacing the stock XC rims with a heavier duty Downhill type rim.

You should be fine with everything else. If you're just starting out, you will crash. That's part of the whole enchilatta (sp?). You'll also do stupid things that you hope no one sees. You will also end up breaking some things on your bike. That happens. When you break a component, then upgrade!

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